In the end, even an outstanding innings by Karunaratne couldn’t help Dambulla Giants.
Jaffna Kings were able to win the match due to brilliant batting performances from Fernando and Gurbaz.
Jaffna Kings have now qualified for the Final match of LPL
Jaffna Kings 20 overs 210-4
Fernando 100 (64) Samarakoon 2-30 Gurbaz 70 (40) de Lange 1-47
Dambulla Giants. 20 overs 187-9
Karunaratne 75*(47) Seals 3-24 Salt 22 (11) Theekshana 2-23
It was a class act by the Jaffna Kings after being invited to bat first by the Dambulla Giants.
The opening pair of Jaffna Kings dazzled at the right time in the important Qualifier 2 match.
Fernando’s ton and Gurbaz’s 70 helped Jaffna to put up a big score of 210 runs on the board.
Karunaratne showed his big-hitting calibre as he remained unbeaten on 75 runs and the Dambulla Giants fell just 23 runs shorter of the target.
The superb opening stand
Avishka Fernando and Rahmanullah Gurbaz put up an amazing 122 runs stand for the opening wicket.
In the process, they laid a solid platform to their side to post a big score on the board.
Both Fernando and Gurbaz played aggressive cricket today.
They started a bit carefully, scoring just 48 runs from the Powerplay but without losing any wicket.
Both of them shifted their gears after the end of the 7th over and started to score some quick runs.
Jaffna made 92 runs in the first 10 overs.
The 1st wicket partnership was broken in the 14th over by Karunaratne as Rahmanullah Gurbaz was dismissed after scoring 70 runs off just 40 balls including 5 fours and 4 sixes.
He played with a strike rate of 175.00.
After his dismissal, Fernando played more aggressively and he also completed his 100.
Fernando’s century came off just 64 balls as he smashed 10 fours and 4 sixes.
After the departure of both openers, the next few batters didn’t score big runs but still, they managed to cross 200 with the loss of just 4 wickets in the first innings.
Lahiru Samarakoon picked up two wickets for 30 runs in 2 overs.
Imran Tahir bowled brilliantly but unfortunately, he failed to pick up any wicket.
Phil Salt and Niroshan Dickwella also started aggressively in the second innings as they scored 39 runs on the first 20 balls.
Salt was dismissed in the 4th over by Lakmal after scoring 22 runs off 11 balls including 3 fours and 1 six.
In the next over Dickwella (18 runs 12 balls) also got out and in the same over, Theekshana also dismissed the Player of the Match of Eliminator 1, Janith Liyanage for just 1 run.
Najibullah Zadran(21 runs off balls) also failed to score a big knock.
Dambulla Giants were 8 down on 129 but Karunaratne played a wonderful knock in the end as he scored an unbeaten inning of 75 runs off just 47 balls including 10 fours and 2 sixes.
Due to this, Dambulla Giants were able to reach 187 for 9 from their 20 overs.
Jayden Seals picked up 3 wickets for 24 runs while Theekshana and Perera picked up 2 wickets each.